Gang violence among youth on the rise in Antigua and Barbuda

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After popular gangs like Bloods and Crips fizzled out years ago, people all around the country breathed a sigh of relief but now dangerous gangs are popping up once again.

Earlier this week, a 15-year-old student of all boy’s school, Antigua Grammar School, was rushed to hospital following what appears to have been a premeditated attack by three unknown young men wearing hoodies and armed with a machete.

The child is said to be recovering after he sustained chops to the back of his head and right elbow.

It is said that gangs called – 2 Drilly, its affiliate 2 Drilly Girls, and alleged rival 700 Bones —are behind the attacks.

The gangs- which consist of children between the ages of 13 to16 years were reportedly formed in schools and the students have been observed posing with weapons in online posts and announcing their next targets-other school children.

Residents have taken to social media, expressing their frustration and pleading with parents to take charge of their children.

Popular soca artist Tian Winter has even used his influence by appealing to young people to “channel the energy the right way.”

Attorney General and Minister for Public Safety Steadroy Benjamin has since announced that there will be a review of the Child Justice Act which was passed in 2016 to make it that these young criminals held fully accountable for their actions.

He also said that the “the Minister of Education will be convening a meeting with the heads of the two schools and the police will also be conducting their own strategy meeting.”

In addition, officials are also considering banning certain types of music from being played on the airwaves.

Minister of Information Melford Nicholas said on Thursday that “there need to be certain regulations governing the cleanliness of music that is playing on the airways … it is something that we are going to have to look at responsibly as a society.” (LOOP)

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15 COMMENTS

  1. We know this to be an issue and one of the biggest contributing factor besides a poor family structure is the musical content that they are so hung up on. Yet still you “the government” is supporting and promoting a show with one of the most violent artists of this era to be featured “Skellibeng” (or however the name is spelt). WTF are y’all priorities? Smfh I’m so disappointed isn’t not even funny and you have the Minister of Education being ok with all of this….

    What’s the plan going forward? Because changing these so called laws will not change anything.

  2. Kmt, they all should be caught an send to prison for life these so call children are a minist to society they serve no purpose on this earth. They should be taken out,that poor boy could have lost his darn life If that boy was mind these monsters would have been on ice by now.

  3. So it’s possible for the music to be banned on the airways but then turn around and allow the artist to come here to perform for a show? Make it make sense. Them have so much trang for Tian that a only now he say something action is being taken? Parents have been begging and pleading for weeks on social media for the higher authorities to step in.

  4. Guys the Music the Music!!! I LOVE JAMAICA!!!!! GREAT JAMAICAN FRIEDS. But let’s not kid ourselves the music is Highly Highly toxic!!!! The Jamaican gang and crime culture is being exported through its music. Even the authorities in Jamaica is banning its own music from playing on the airwaves.. The Skeng and Skillibengs etc etc.. its all about guns and killing… notten name culture any more..

    • @Spar Par…”banning” music on the airwaves will do little to stop the music with its #intent and #content, from being distributed and infused, into the culture unless #ALL the elements of the equation causing the violence. These elements are the producers(writers to managers), the recording/distribution network), the licensing agencies, etc.
      This menace has to be treated like the tobacco and drug industries, with litigation and legislation, even though they’re still thriving.
      Another element which has a significant role in the uptick in violence, is the gun and the easy accesses to obtaining a gun. If, one would stop to think about the use and access to weapons, to commit crimes, cutlasses to swords to knives were always accessible to those who were involved in crime, yet, the violence(the actual act of using the weapon, not just to threaten but to inflict harm) then versus now is vastly different.

      It’s gonna get worst, before it gets better! Antigua, Barbuda & REDONDA have a shot at stemming the tide of the bee crime wave and phenomenon, but OVERALL ACTION must be the order of the day. Not the blame game, passing the buck, name and shame etc.

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De ‘ole Dutty Peg_Foot – Vere C. Edwards

    • Skillibeng endorses violence yet hell be here to perform againnnnnn

  5. Y’all talking rubbish!

    The music these young ppl listen to are trap music, king von, trippy red, lil baby, da baby, nba young boy etc!

    They follow the music and livelihoods of these young men as they’re only 20-26 years old.
    These are their idols and they’re heavy on gangs and are dying from the “opps” every DAY!
    Y’all hear skilli a shoot ppl? Y’all sickening!

    You ppl blame Jamaica for EVERYTHING!

    Blame dem parents cause weh dem get time to cause problems? Where they get hun and machete from? Whose house they hide them in?

  6. We allowed the monster to get out of the cage and then we attempt to chase it back inside. Too late!
    Over and over again, we continue to deal with the results of our problems instead of tackling the root causes.

    The breakdown of families and the decriminalization of marijuana are TWO of the MAJOR factors contributing to what we see happening to the youths in our nation.

    Parents have lost control. In more extreme cases, parents have completely given up and no longer even attempt the parenting role.
    Our children are being trained and nurtured by the evil, demonic so-called entertainment on social media and the boarder media spectrum. In a recent survey done among 5th form students at a certain school, the data showed that NINETY-EIGHT percent of the students polled admitted that their favorite songs were music which were totally laced with violent and overly sensual lyrics.

    We have lost the battle and at this late hour is making a desperate attempt to regain control.
    Then in doing so, we still fail to recognize the source of the problem and even yet more we reject the ONLY SOLUTION POSSIBLE.

    So we will continue to grope in the dark and expect good results.
    We cannot continue to call good– evil and bad—good; yet anticipating that our evil will turn into good. Whatsoever we sow that we shall also reap.

    There is NO middle ground.
    Unfortunately, the gang situation will only get worse. I anticipate the days will be back again soon when online school will become the norm. Not because of covid -19 or any pandemic, but our classrooms will not be safe environments to facilitate teaching/learning activities. Hence, teachers will have to conduct teaching sessions from their homes.

    This is the state of the world in which we live. A world that is rapidly moving more and more away from moral and ethical values that once formed the backbone of our societies.

    All is not lost. There yet remain a minority that will continue to look to the Ultimate Source of ALL GOOD– THE CREATOR. The only POWER that can end this madness.
    The heart of man is desperately wicked. We do not suffer from lack of knowledge but rather from our refusal to adhere to Righteousness. We prefer vanity and evil even when we see the results of that way.

    The choice is ours to make. Which way will we choose?

    LIFE OR DEATH ?

  7. Plenty plenty Syrian, white and Chinese school children live and go to school here. Are they in gangs in schools, knifing and chopping up peers? Why not? The problem is deeper. And we all know what it is.

  8. We need to ban school children hanging out down Heritage Quay, Friendly Alley ( That is the road west of Twist Mall formally Benjie Mall ). Curfew after school. No Secondary school child should found on the streets of St. John’s after 3pm. Also no primary school children studies should be found in town after 4:30pm . Parents of Childers hanging around after school hour should be jointly change along with their children.

  9. We must put an end to this now. Not only with using tough legal decisions but also proper social and transformative programs. Look we cannot build a proper sporting facility up YASCO while the greedy politicians enriching themselves, their families and Cronies from the government treasury. St. Lucia a small country like ours , OECS state like ours are now out of control with violent crimes / murders. They are actually recording about one per day , since they are over the 300 mark for the year long time.
    So while we speak about the economic power house , our youth are left behind and overnight can destroy our country with crime and violence. That no legislation will be able to stop when the horse bolt. We need to arrest this situation now. We need to show the youth that there is a good future ahead. We need to have program that will foster love not hate . We need to foster unity not division as portrayed by our politicians, especially in this election cycle. So right along the divisive politics we will see divided gangs.

  10. What happened to Skerrit, the facility that was there for delinquent boys. It is time it is set It up again. And one is needed for girls also. You cannot have these young people running around causing mayhem. A farm should be set up on the compound for them to work and they should be taught a trade.
    For the life of me I don’t know what has caused these young people to be so wicked that they would be running around with cutlasses. They need the justice system to step in and throw the books at them

  11. 🏴‍☠️♾❌Jumbee_Picknee says…it’s quite obvious, that many folks have idea as to…

    A…what constitutes a #Gang/Order.

    B…the roles which these #Gangs/Orders play in society/culture

    C…that their employment is within the structures and matrices of a #gang/order.

    D…focusing on the low hanging fruits, the youths is useless, in addressing the severity of the violence caused by #gangs/orders.

    Some of the most violent, detrimental gangs to society are found in Governments, the churches.

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